The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Messing With The Beat Of My Heart …

Today my wonderful little boy, Otis, turns 4.

Four. How is that possible?

It literally seems yesterday I donned a mask of the Queen [her Royal highness, not Freddie and the boys] and asked the doctor who delivered him, to photograph us.

Sadly that is not a joke and here is the proof …

And yet, despite that inauspicious start to life, he has approached all that has come his way with a wonderful sense of energy, optimism, happiness and curiosity … from seeing his Dad fall apart when his besotted grandmother died when he was just 3 months old to moving to 3 radically different countries in his first 3 years of life.

I love him in ways I can’t describe.

I often find myself flicking through thousands of photos of him while I’m sat on the tube.

Watching him literally grow in-front of my eyes … and I don’t mind admitting there have been occasions where I’ve had tears in my eyes.

Not out of sadness, but just out of how much I love his face.

No wonder no one wants to sit next to me.

He has been one of the greatest things in my life from the moment he was born.

While Jill was pregnant I was focused on trying to plan for the unknown …

How much would it cost?
How would it affect our life?
How will we cope with all he will need?

And then the moment he was officially out in the World, none of that mattered …

It was all about him. And us. And how our lives had suddenly become immeasurably richer and more loving.

I’m embarrassed to admit how naive I was as to how good being a father would be.

I always liked the idea of being a Dad, but never really understood the impact it would have on me. I assumed the relationship would be built more around ‘responsibility’ … and while there is a big part of that, it’s way, way more two-way than I assumed.

I learn from Otis.

I experience life with Otis.

I re-evaluate what is important because of Otis.

He is literally the best part of me.

Of course a big part of that is because his wonderful Mum has had an extraordinary influence on how he is turning out … but he is still the best part of me.

I wish my parents could have met him. I know for a fact they would adore him.

Not just because he’d be their first grandchild, but because of how he is approaching life …

Curious. Happy. Cheeky. Compassionate. Eager to learn, play, experiment and laugh.

I love him with all I’ve got.

Every single part of me absolutely adores him in ways I can’t properly describe.

When he climbs into our bed and pushes his way into the middle of us at some ungodly hour of the night, I often turn around, see his beautiful face resting peacefully and feel the happiest I have ever felt.


My family.

All together … including the cat.

I know this won’t last forever … there will be a day when he doesn’t climb between us, and while I will finally get a good nights sleep, I have to admit I’ll miss it.

These are very special times, but I know I’ll only truly appreciate just how special when they’re not happening anymore.

Because the irony of being a parent is your job is to help them live without you.

Where they don’t rely on you.

Where they develop their own interests and social circle.

Where you become the person they visit occasionally rather than see every single day.

Where their relationship with you fades in importance as they create their own families and life.

That’s part of the twisted wonderfulness of being a parent and one I don’t mind admitting that I’m dreading and excited to see.

But even when that happens, I know that whenever I see him or hear from him or even think of him, it will mess with the beat of my heart, because he is – and always will be – everything to me.

So to my dearest Otis … happy birthday.

You bring so much joy to me and your Mum.

You’re perfect to us.

Never forget that.

Love you.


18 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Happy birthday Otis. I hope you have a great time on your special day. I’m sure your parents have many things planned.

Comment by Pete

Happy birthday Otis. We are all thinking of you and hope to see you soon.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Happy birthday Otis. 🎉

Comment by Bazza

It’s your special day Otis.
Jemma xoxo

Comment by Jemma King

Happy birthday Otis. Have a spectacular day.

Comment by George

Happy birthday Otis. I am sure your magnificent parents have an fun filled day planned just for you.

Comment by Lee Hill

Make your old man pay O.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Beautiful post.

Comment by naoko

Happy Birthday Otis. Enjoy your celebrations.

While you’re the best part of Rob, in a few years, when you read this blog, you’ll no doubt shake your head a few times but also with equal amounts of love and pride feel very happy to have Rob as your Dad.


Comment by Niko

Happy birthday special Otis.
You are growing so fast but so beautiful.

Comment by Katerina

fuck me, even k is here. otis is fucking honoured.

Comment by andy@cynic

He is worth it.

Comment by Katerina

happy birthday otis. thank you for making your day less of a prick. now spend all his cash.

Comment by andy@cynic

Happy birthday Otis. Hope you were spoiled madly.

Comment by DH

Lovely post about your family Rob. A much nicer version of the Rob I originally met.

Comment by DH

Happy Birthday Otis!
Looked like you had fun.

As someone whose child is approaching their first birthday, I share much of this sentiment. I admire how he has embraced his broad experience of location though.

Comment by Rob (Other one)

Hope you bled him dry Otis. Sounds like you’re the only dude who can make him.

Comment by Billy Whizz

[…] While you might think the sight of me on a stepladder wearing an Elton John mask is the worst thing you can imagine, let me remind you of the time I wore a mask of the Queen for my first ever photo with my son. […]

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